'It's a substantial moment': Becky Hammon becomes first woman to coach NBA team as LA Lakers see off San Antonio Spurs

Telegraph Sport
·1-min read
San Antonio Spurs coach Becky Hammon calls a play during a timeout - AP
San Antonio Spurs coach Becky Hammon calls a play during a timeout - AP

Becky Hammon made history on Wednesday night by becoming the first woman to officially coach an NBA team during the regular season.

Hammon, 43, took over from Gregg Popovich after the San Antonio Spurs head coach was ejected in the second quarter of a 121-107 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Assistant coach Hammon could not stop her side from defeat as LeBron James celebrated his 36th birthday by scoring 26 points - the 1,000th consecutive game he has hit double figures.

The Lakers raced into a 92-74 lead and although San Antonio cut the deficit to eight points in the final minutes, James and Anthony Davis were both on target to close out the win.

"It is a big deal and a substantial moment," Hammon said in a video posted on the WNBA Twitter feed.

"I have been part of the Spurs for 13 years so I have a lot of time invested in them, and they have a lot of time invested in me, in building me and getting me better.

"In the moment, I was just trying to win the game. I try not to think about the huge picture and the huge aspect of it, because it can get overwhelming.

"It is my job to be focused for those guys and be sure and I am helping them do the things that will help us win."